Many nonfiction books can benefit from the addition of an index to help the reader locate passages on specific topics. Software applications that merely prepare a concordance of “keywords” without human intervention rarely, if ever, produce an index that will actually be helpful to the reader. Also, most writers are too close to their own project to prepare the best possible index. Instead, if you determine that an index should be included, it is worth investing in the services of a professional indexer. Epiclesis Consulting LLC is happy to provide indexing either alone or bundled with other editorial services. Contact us for an estimate.
The decision about whether to include an index should be made early in the project, because it will affect both the time and money to be budgeted. It is best to allow at least 2-3 weeks for indexing. Indexing cannot begin until all rounds of proofreading are complete and an absolutely final typeset version of the text has been created. This is because substantial revisions may relocate, remove, or add topics, and even a correction of one letter can change the page numbers throughout the book. An inaccurate index is far worse than none at all!